Three Classic Roll Recipes

The majority of rolled sushi (makizushi) in Japan is wrapped in toasted laver seaweed--called nori--and thus falls into the category norimaki. While nori is the most commonly used wrap, there are no rules and nowadays sushi chefs use all sorts of wraps for their makizushi. The same may be said of the ingredients, or neta, used in the middle of the rolls. Whatever you wrap up and however you roll it here are a few simple guidelines that will make your rolls very palatable.

1) Toast the nori.
2) Don't pack the rice in; keep it loose.
3) Make tight rolls.
4) Use fresh ingredients and make the rolls just before serving them.

Toasted nori. Nori has a front and a back. The shiny, smooth side is the front. This side should be toasted by dragging the nori quickly over an open flame. Using the cool part of a grill or placing a grate on your gas stove-top are the best methods. Some nori is already toasted and labeled as such. Pre-toasted nori may be used out of the package or very lightly toasted to bring out the aroma. Once toasted, nori should be kept dry and unrefrigerated in an air-tight container.

Loose rice. When laying down a bed of rice make sure the grains cover the area of the nori without being packed in. Keeping air in the roll will give you a light, edible sushi roll.

Tight rolls. There is nothing worse than picking up a piece of makizushi and having it fall apart in your chopsticks. Careful rolling of an uncrowded sushi will produce the best results.

Fresh ingredients, fresh rolls. As is true in all Japanese (and really all other) cuisine, using the freshest ingredients possible and assembling the final product just before service makes all the difference. While the rolling of the sushi should be left to the last minute, the building blocks can be prepared ahead of time with minimal loss of quality. Toast your nori, cut your vegetables and slice fish as appropriate.




Classic Nigiri Recipe

Recipe for Chirashi Sushi


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